The Boston Bruins have terminated Mitchell Miller’s contract after the NHL ruled him ineligible to play in the league
The Boston Bruins terminated their contract with Mitchell Miller Sunday after the National Hockey League ruled him ineligible to join the team because of a bullying incident the player was involved in as a young teenager.
The decision is effective immediately, just days after the Bruins signed Miller to an entry-level contract on Friday. The about-face comes after the revelation of new information apparently related to the bullying, that at some point it led to serious consequences when the player was in school.
Miller, aged 14, was convicted of a bullying incident in which he and another teenager were accused of tricking black classmate Isaiah Meyers-Crothers into eating candy that had been placed in a urinal , according to a report from Arizona Republic revealed
Miller and another teenager admitted to the harassment in an Ohio juvenile court and were sentenced to community service, according to the Republic.
In explaining the decision to sign the now 20-year-old Miller in the first place, Boston Bruins president Cam Neely said the team had carefully considered the facts as they knew them, “that at 14 made an effort.” bad decision that led to a juvenile conviction.”
“We understood that this was an isolated incident and that he had taken significant steps to reform and was committed to ongoing personal development. Based on that understanding, we offered him a contract,” Neely said.
After new information came to light, the team decided it was in their best interest to cancel the opportunity. The team’s statement did not elaborate on that information.
“We look forward to her continuing to work with professionals and programs to further her education and personal growth,” Neely said.
Neely also apologized to Meyers-Crothers and his family for the signing, as well as members of the organization, fans, partners and the community.
“To Isaiah and his family, my deepest apologies if this signing made you and other victims feel invisible and unheard. We apologize for the deep hurt and impact we have caused,” Neely said. “We will continue to fight against harassment and racism in all its forms.”
Neely added: “Finally, as a parent, I think there’s a lesson here for other young people. Be aware of careless behaviors and go with the group mentality of hurting others. The repercussions can be felt for a lifetime.”
Saturday, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said the Bruins did not consult the league before signing Miller, calling what Miller did as a 14-year-old “reprehensible” and “unacceptable.”
“He’s not going to be in the NHL. He’s not eligible to be in the NHL at this point. I can’t tell you he’s ever going to be eligible to be in the NHL,” Bettman said while speaking at the NHL Global Series in Tampere, Finland.
“So the answer is that they were free to sign him to play somewhere else, that’s an issue for another league, but nobody should think at this point that he is or can ever be eligible for the NHL. And the Bruins understand that now,” Bettman added.
The Arizona Coyotes drafted him in 2020 and the team revoked his rights after the Republic’s report revealed the bullying conviction.
CNN reached out to Miller’s rep for comment and did not immediately hear back.
When the Bruins initially signed Millerthe team released a statement from the player in which he said, “When I was in the eighth grade, I made a very bad decision and acted very immaturely.”
“I deeply regret the incident and have apologized to the individual. Since the incident, I have come to better understand the far-reaching consequences of my actions that I did not recognize or understand nearly seven years ago,” he said. “To be clear, what I did when I was 14 was wrong and unacceptable. There is no place in this world to be disrespectful to others and I pledge to use this opportunity to speak out against the mistreatment of others.”
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